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[Letter from Mary Houston to Young John Allen, September 14, 1855]

Grantville Georgia
September 14th 1855

Mr. A Y J W Allen,

Dearest Young,

It were a mockery to conceal the hearts emotions, to keep back its joyous feelings and prevent them from flowing freely when such a profusion of them falls to our share, as were mine after the reception of thy letter last evening; I oftentimes perused it tonight eve. I seated myself to write and 'twas then with a consciousness that I could not write a response which would in any wise be worthy of the one just received. And so Dear Young you are not a castle builder. You do not sit and dream of the future but think only of the past and present realities. Would that I too were thus but now that I can tell you so I am going to real studying myself and quit dreaming. I am going to school in LaGrange at the opening of it which is October 1st and then I shall try to leave off building worthless castles and "tracing shadows" while I will employ my time in thinking of real things.

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I thought when you left here that I should have visited Siss Mattie in the west this [deleted] in the [added] winter and sure enough would have done so had not Mother consented for me to enter college, which I had much rather do now then visit Mattie after completing my education. Yes I thought then that I should ere very long have the delightful and inexpressible pleasure of seeing My Dear, Dear Sister whom I have not seen for years. I thought that I should erelong be in her beautiful land admiring those bright and blooming Prairies, Natures Own beautiful gardens. Yet I had much rather stay and acquire that which nothing can arrest from me - an education. I am [added] happy to receive your counsel Dear Young relative to trusting my God and Saviour it does me much good, gives me much confidence, comforts & consoles me much, and I would have you to even speak thus with me. Yes, yes our Saviour is the one to trust in, to confide in, and he will lighten our burdens, having borne far greater ones for our sake he knows how to sympathise with us from experience.

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I do not understand you Young when you ask of me as a favor to take up those lies one by one and give you the substantial truth of the matter - you know that I heard them not, that I heard only what you told me when you were here and you know my replies then. If you simply mean for me to give you my opinion on Slanderers I would say 'tis useless for you have already expressed it [deleted] my sentiments in far better language than I could have done while writing yours. As you have said so would I say, Oh! Where can we find words to express the depravity of the heart, its utter baseness its blackness, with which the darkest hour of midnight would be a shining light compared to it, which harbors this "viperous fiend," this debasing principle - slander. Yes in vain might we search our vocabulary and be disappointed still in finding language that would express in proper terms the baseness of this principle, that would describe the polluted heart of him or hear who could thus unfeelingly and without a fear reduce inch by inch an innocent being to the lowest grades of degradation.
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Strange it is that every one should with eagerness catch each spark generated by the slanderer and fan it each successive time while 'tis kindled into a great destroying flame consuming in its course all that's bright pure and beautiful belonging to its victim. Strange that this or her poisonous breath should be receive[d] as a pleasant zephyr by all instead of a cold wintry blast which is withering all the bright hopes of the innocent one 'tis degrading. Yes dying their spotless innocence their snowy purity with the darkest hues of ignominy and shame. But yet its victim may triumph in the end for though thy would gladly degrade it God would receive it - is this not a triumph? Yes, yes a glorious triumph.

Hot, scolding bitter tears were mine Dear Young as I perused the 14th page of thy letter and learned that I had been thus meanly misrepresented by my enemies but I cannot permit myself to speak of it now in my present state of mind, 'tis too excited.
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How inexpressible the fullness of my heart when I knew that thou wert still my friend amidst it all - I could only exclaim Heaven bless thy pure heart, thy generous soul.

You perhaps had best not send those books as I shall leave soon.

I was very glad to receive so long a letter from you, and ask you to write again soon another such. Yet I do not feel that I should since I cannot send thee a long one in return, but you must pardon me I do not feel like writing now. I have no other news to write you now save I tell you that Sister's health is improving some. Write me very soon Dear Young.

Believe me thine Forever,
Mary Houston
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Grantville GA
Sept 14th

Mr. A Y J W Allen

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